Zoloft and Suicide
In studies, there was a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in children and teenagers who took antidepressants such as Zoloft; however, it is difficult to know for sure if these antidepressants cause suicidal behavior. From what is known about suicide and Zoloft, people with bipolar disorder and those who have previously attempted suicide are among those most at risk for suicidal behavior with the drug.
An Overview of Zoloft and Suicide
Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
Zoloft is one of a group of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). As with all antidepressants, there may be an increased risk of suicidal behavior when taking Zoloft.
Suicide and Zoloft: FDA Warning
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a special warning about the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior with antidepressant use in children and teenagers. The warning was issued due to concerns that antidepressants seemed to increase the risk of suicidal behavior in children and teenagers in clinical studies. Zoloft is only approved for use in children and teens with OCD. Although Zoloft is not approved for other uses in children or teenagers, it may be used "off-label" for other conditions in this age group.